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OSS

Oracle's Next Acquisition?

2:10 PM -- NICE, France -- Management World 2009 -- This year's major OSS event has been a bit thin on the ground in terms of off-diary news (some people might call it "gossip"). But there's one hot rumor doing the rounds, and that's about the next big acquisition that Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) is lining up.

Oracle, of course, has just left some jaws slack with its recent audacious swoop for Sun Microsystems Inc. . (See Sun Is a Star, Oracle to Buy Sun, and Oracle Rocks Java.)

Now the word circulating the telecom software world is that, following its (relatively) rapid entrance into the carrier operations software sector with the acquisitions of telecom-specific software vendors such as MetaSolv, Portal, Hotsip, and Netsure, as well as BEA Systems, Oracle has the software arsenal, but not the services and integration capabilities, to make the most of its assets. (See OSS Giants Shift Up a Gear, Oracle Flexes Its Muscle, Oracle's Higher Price Lands BEA, Oracle Buys More OSS With MetaSolv, and Oracle Buying Into Service Delivery .)

So, the speculation goes, Oracle is looking to buy a major systems integrator so that it has the same full suite of capabilities -- software products, IT hardware, and professional services -- that some of its key rivals, such as IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), already boast.

Professional services capability, of course, is also a significant feather in the cap of major telecom equipment vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and Nokia Networks .

There's no suggestion that any one target is currently in Oracle's sights, but if Larry Ellison's crew is indeed hunting around for an "SI" to buy, then companies like Aricent Inc. , Accenture , Cap Gemini, Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY), Tech Mahindra Ltd. , and Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) would likely figure in the list of firms to check out as potential targets.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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